This is a sickness:
If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that Republicans to not care, at all, about budget deficits. Whenever they are in power they explode deficits with completely debt-funded upper-class tax cuts and defense spending increases. This is not an open question. Taking transparently bad faith claims at face value and repeating them with no context is just journalistic malpractice.
Part of what’s going on here, of course, is that “reducing deficits should be a top priority” is a highly contestable view with no mass constituency that “objective” reporters feel comfortable treating as if it were an established fact.